Approximate Purchase Date: Hopefully by the end of this weekend
Budget Range: 600-800
System Usage from Most to Least Important: surfing the internet,light gaming, watching movies
Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com
Country of Origin:US
Parts Preferences: AMD or Intel
SLI or Crossfire: No
Monitor Resolution: 1280x1024 for now, will change later on with the purchase of a new monitor
Additional Comments: This is for my father, It should last a long time. I started building an I5 760 system, and though I should look into an amd build. Im still open to either. I was having a hard time with mobo for either system. Ill post both
For internet and light gaming, you do not need a quad. The cheapest Intel clarkdale 32nm duo G6950 will suffice. Use the integrated graphics, a H55 itx motherboard, and put it into a small itx case. I have this as my backup pc, and I can play civilization 2.42 on it with no problems.
For real performance spend about $100 on a SSD for the OS and apps. If more storage is needed, add a hard drive.
The G6950 will oc like crazy to whatever you need, but even at stock it is fine.
A itx motherboard will have a discrete pci-e slot in case you should need more graphics power.
If gaming on this PC is limited to "light" and a 1024 monitor, then an i3 540 and integrated graphics will likely be just fine. In a decent case, there's no need for anything beyond the stock cooler, even for a mild OC. (OTOH, a Hyper 212 is almost free lol.)
If you are unhappy with graphics performance, or if/when gaming gets "heavier" or goes into higher resolutions (eg new monitor), you can add a vid card appropriate for that resolution. There is no need to guess or spend money at this time. Your dad will appreciate your thoughtful, step-by-step approach